We know the answer to ‘what works’ will come from within the sector.
Excellent practice is happening all over the country but, in most instances, without a robust evidence-base. We want to find promising practice and support social care organisations to be more evidence-minded and evaluate their own practice to a high standard through our Practice In Need of Evidence (PINE) programme. Ultimately we hope to find practice that could be successfully shared and scaled more widely.
The aim of PINE is to generate and share the highest quality evidence about what works.
The suite of products and services, co-produced with our Pioneer Partners, support local authorities on a pathway to robust evidence. It is necessary to build capability, motivation and opportunity for evidence in organisations if we are to see a true change in culture towards evidence-mindedness.
Diagnosing Evidence-Minded Organisations
Delivered on-site in 3 days through cross-organisation interviews and observations, DEMO has an organisational development function and provides an opportunity to explore promising practice. DEMO can be used to determine, in partnership with the local authority, what needs to change in order to improve capability, motivation and opportunity for evidence use. It is the starting point for working with local authorities who have little experience of evidence-minded practice but are interested in strengthening practice in this way.
Where knowledge and skill in using evidence to inform and improve service delivery could be improved, including the use of internal data, we will deliver training to managers. The evidence masterclass mobilises the management team to use evidence and simulates application of evidence to address a gap in service. This training leaves local authorities equipt and motivated to use evidence in all aspects of management. It also highlights the evidence hierarchy and illustrates how and why RCTs are the most robust method. This creates the best conditions for a local authority to embark on an RCT with WWC. The training package also includes support with analysis and insights from performance data as this will become crucial in the next stages of the pathway to an RCT.
This provides local authorities with support and tools to evaluate their own promising practice. This is a vital step towards identifying causation in an RCT. The first stage of Self-Evaluation is about the local authority developing a theory of change, logic model, dark logic model and a description of the intervention in preparation for manualisation. By using WWC tools and support, local authorities would be showing ‘promise of evidence’ on the pathway overleaf.
The next stage of self-evaluation focuses on output metrics that support the theory of change and demonstrate that things are moving in the right direction. The WWC will determine, in consultation with the local authority, whether the self-evaluation will be a pilot, or a study that will show indicative evidence of impact. The latter would not be statistically significant but would be an early indication of an outcome as classified in our pathway as ‘evidence of promise’. This is the point at which the local authority would be in a strong position to begin work with the Programmes Team to develop an RCT.